There have been plenty of tastings in January, all in preparation for the huge Lunar New Year season that’s coming up very soon. While most tastings have been average, I found some to be worth the mention (and money). Let’s dive into my New Year season’s best bites right now!
A Japanese Spin on Classic Lunar New Year Dishes
I’ve mentioned Boruto’s superb weekend sake-tapas pairing before, but Chef Angus has taken his non-traditional approach to Japanese food one step further. Besides the usual Lo Hei, the standout dish for me was the 1.6KG Roasted Pork Shoulder ($88.80).
Chef Angus’ spin on the usual Roast Suckling Pig is eye-opening. The skin crackled when I bit down on it, and while some parts on the ends were a little dry, the insides were moist and smooth. It is advised that you call in ahead to make an order because they make a limited number of pork shoulders every day.
The other stand out for me was the Kani Croquette ($12.80).
The crunch of this outer layer gives you visceral pleasure. Beyond that, the croquette’s filling gives you that feeling of warmth, almost like the smile of an old friend. This is comfort food for sure, and Chef Angus has this dish locked down.
Traditional Chinese New Year Nosh on the East Coast
Now, I’m rather belated in featuring Lan Ting on the site, but those who follow me on Instagram will most definitely know of this place. Again, I’m going to just skip past the Lo Hei because it’s of the expected high quality. Instad, I’ll focus on the stand out dishes you need to have here, starting with the Blue Ginger Crispy Chicken ($19 half/$35 whole).
What I really loved about this was the fragrance of the dish and how the chicken wasn’t dry at all. The crunch of the chicken skin was satisfying, and that slight oiliness of the skin gave my mood a lift. I was already super full by then, but the chicken was so good that I couldn’t stop eating.
Lan Ting’s Treasure Pot Pen Cai ($268 for 5pax/$500 for 10pax) is no slouch either. The mix of 10-head abalone, fresh scallop, sea cucumber, fish maw, dried oysters, pork knuckle, king prawns, conpoy, Japanese mushrooms and classic fa cai make for a truly sumptuous treat. While most will note the crunch of the prawns, I’d like to just say that I really appreciate the extra time taken to pan sear the scallops before they go into the pot.
You still have time to book a table with them for your CNY lunch or dinner, so give them a call at +6564440888 to make a booking!
Say Hello to Beancurd Tarts
Post-dinner sweetness comes in the form of tasty egg and beancurd tarts. Honolulu Cafe’s egg and newly created beancurd tarts are baked on-site for that extra freshness.
There are 2 distinct bases for the tarts. The egg tarts are flakier, and give a little bit of a crunch when you bite into them. The beancurd tart base is closer to the classic fruit tart base – it crumbles as you chow down.
The filling of these beancurd tarts have no preservatives or artificial flavourings, so you have to eat them within a day or two. The best way to eat this is to chill the tarts overnight, then eat them within 30 minutes of taking them out of the fridge. This time limit also applies to you when you’re transporting the tarts from one place to another. If you take too long, the condensation will soften the tart base. For me, I prefer eating it there and then, preferably with a cup of ice cold milk tea.
Honolulu Cafe is having a special Yuan Yang set (2 egg tart and 2 bean tart at $5.00) from now till 26th January. If you want to have a taste, bring a friend and swing by their Centrepoint outlet (#01-33F/G).